Milanese
by Mark Milanese
April 12th, 2012

I Never Got This Far in My Dreams

Bubba Watson had me glued to my television Sunday afternoon as I watched him use courage and creativity to win the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga. If you weren’t one of the 42 million Americans also watching, I can tell you it was an exciting finish.

Watson hit an awful tee shot on a final death elimination playoff hole. His ball landed way off the fairway on top of a deep layer of pine needle rough. He was surrounded by trees and had no view of the green. There was no way he could recover. To win he would have to hit an impossible shot. The powerful lefty hooked the ball 40 yards onto the elevated green.

“I got in those trees and hit a crazy shot that I saw in my head,” Watson said. “And somehow I’m here talking to you with a green jacket on.”

Bubba hasn’t had a golf lesson since he was 10 years old. All he learned about the game came from his own imagination. As incredible as it all seemed, Gerry “Bubba” Watson, Jr., was a major champion. “I’ve never had a dream go this far, so I can’t really say it’s a dream come true,” Watson said.

Watching Bubba’s emotional win, I couldn’t help but think of my own dad’s experience at the Masters Course in Augusta.

Ten years ago, George “Cotton” Simmons, president of BF Rich Windows and Doors gave my dad great news. A BF Rich vendor had become close friends with Cotton and revealed he was a member at Augusta. The vendor invited Cotton to fly down to Augusta on his private jet, stay at one of the cabins on the course overnight, play a round of golf, and have dinner in the clubhouse before flying back home. He told him he could bring along a couple of friends to complete the foursome. Dad was overjoyed when Cotton invited him to come along. The final member of the foursome would be an educator Cotton knew would also appreciate the opportunity. They all had a memorable experience.

Cotton Simmons gave my dad quite an honor when he invited him to play the Masters course at Augusta. I am sure Dad felt as emotional as Bubba did when he became a major champion there on Sunday. Years later, Dad told me he did more in his lifetime than he could have ever dreamed. Five years ago, Cotton Simmons honored my father again by carrying him to his final resting place as a pall bearer.

Business today can be demanding. Sometimes, we can feel we are 40 yards off the fairway, surrounded by trees and with no view of the green. Oftentimes, we have to hit a courageous, creative, crazy shot “out of our heads” to succeed. Other times, those we choose to associate with are the key to our success. Those times should remind us that the business we are in allows us the wonderful opportunity to forge strong and long-lasting relationships and to achieve more than we could have ever dreamed.

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